You’ve probably heard the term SD-WAN, and with good reason, as it’s rapidly shaping up to be a viable method of redefining efficient connectivity.

In light of a rapidly modernised work environment and the hyper-accelerated adoption of new technological solutions, an increased number of businesses are transitioning from outdated “legacy” solutions to more modern, Cloud-based alternatives. The reason? A newfound willingness across the board to accept (and embrace) digital transformation while seeking affordable last-mile solutions.

Sadly, South Africa contains many organisations still heavily reliant on said outdated infrastructure, although admittedly. recent years have seen accelerated transitioning to the Cloud. Across the board, the Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated a newfound reliance on technology and evolved solutions. In fact, it’s estimated that over 70% of applications have made this transition, with those who haven’t struggling to keep up.

This is where SD-WAN comes into play - presenting a unique opportunity to reinvent the fundamental network building blocks on which businesses are built.

Okay, I’m with you so far – now how does SD-WAN affect my business?

Well, any user needs an agile network to ensure effective collaboration, connect with customers/suppliers and simplify access to Cloud-based technologies without a drop in quality.

With so many new and different business functions (such as video conferencing or Data storage), traditional networks can easily be overloaded, which in turn leads to reduced speed, efficiency and quality. Modern businesses need flexible, secure and consistent solutions that don’t break bank – which brings us to SD-WAN.

Simply put, SD-WAN is a software defined, wide area network solution which enables companies to leverage any combination of last mile services, including MPLS, 5G, LTE-A, Fibre, Microwave, and the like to securely connect users to applications. Unlike you traditional WAN services (which connect office users to applications and servers in a Datacentre), SD-WAN utilises multiple Clouds in a digital-centric environment to encapsulate software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications.

Said solutions eliminates the need for expensive routing, reducing hardware costs while providing businesses with the flexibility of Multi-Cloud Services.

Why does it matter?

Fibre in South Africa has developed at a phenomenal rate, resulting in a similarly phenomenal impact on the reliability and quality of last-mile or backup solutions. In the past, companies utilised dedicated solutions, but these proved exceptionally costly.

With SD-WAN, you can enjoy resilient, high-quality network while allowing the customer to view their performance through real-time monitoring and reporting. The key selling-point, however, is that replacing these conventional links means a vastly reduced overall cost. Not yet sold? Here are all the ways SD-WAN will propel your organisation to the next level.

  1. Application Steering = Increased performance for business-critical applications.

In simple English, SD-WAN takes your web traffic and routes it via the strongest connection. This ensures the best performance as, rather than divert this through a problematic route, your business can enjoy optimal efficiency.

Application Steering lets your business define priority traffic in order to improve performance and speed, using backup connections in active mode to increase bandwidth.

  1. Improve Quality of Service for business-critical applications.

Centrally deployed policies will ensure than employees remain productive. High-bandwidth demanding applications will be steered through the best connection, while your staff can access Cloud-software, Data and files faster than before with minimal loading time. Faster performing applications, naturally, mean enhanced efficiency.

  1. Easy deployment and implementation of changes.

SD-WAN’s Zero Touch Provisioning makes deploying a new branch quick and simple – simply ship the device to site and plug it in - no need to for experts to travel to each of your branches.  Through a single pane of glass, you can centrally manage your network and execute mass configuration of devices on all sites.

  1. Improve network security with the built in Next Generation Firewall.

Most business install security protocol at their head office, forcing all branch traffic to go through a central network location before they can connect. This method does protect the business network, yet it also leads to the decline of overall application performance.

Any business should prioritise security yet also seek a balance between efficiency and safety. Our SD-WAN solutions contain built-in, next generation Firewalls, which can encrypt security at individual sites yet not compromise performance.

  1. Cloud migration preparation

Most businesses will inevitably transition to the Cloud (if they haven’t already). SD-WAN assists with this migration proactively, setting up the network so that moving your Email server or business application is a simplified, supported process.

  1. Enables automatic and seamless failover between multiple connections.

An increasing amount of business functions are reliant on good connectivity – even an hour of downtime can mean lost revenue. With SD-WAN, downtime doesn’t exist – the technology will monitor and evaluate network problems, intelligently and seamlessly moving this active Data once a link fails to the best available alternative.

  1. Reduce your monthly spend.

With SD-WAN, your business can make use of more affordable broadband links. This will result in lower operational spend which doesn’t compromise Data security. Enjoy better productivity and easy scalability – it’s a win-win.

Simply put, SD-WAN provides you with fast, secure connectivity, allowing you to reduce costs and enjoy visibility or performance benefits. Change your legacy network into a next generation SD-WAN solution which can be managed from a single interface. Your brand will be able to work smarter and, in turn, provide your customers with exceptional service as a result of more efficient network solutionsS

About Author:
Jeanette Simpson
Jeanette Simpson

After a number of years in the Media and Broadcasting industry, Jeanette changed her career path and joined the ICT industry in 2017. She has been with Vox as Product Manager since 2020 and looks after the SD-WAN portfolio....